#WelcometoCanada!

Did you know that PSPS hosted a series of pre-employment skills training events for new immigrants and refugees this summer?

These pilot program events went so well that we have been seeking funding to help PSPS develop a long-term citizen science program in Pacific Spirit Regional Park for new immigrants and refugees.  If you are interested in supporting this project, you can donate now.  Your support will help PSPS make an environmental and social impact!

Remember to note that your donation is for the PSPS New Immigrant Citizen Science Program in the message box on the Pacific Parklands Foundation link.

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Remembering with Gratitude

Pacific Spirit Regional Park was designated as a park in 1989 thanks to the hard work and dedication of many passionate individuals.  Dr. Richard (Dick) Stace-Smith was instrumental in the creation and planning for many Metro Vancouver Regional Parks, including Pacific Spirit and influential in the protection of the Camosun Bog.  It is with deep sadness and gratitude that we remember Dick and his contributions to conservation efforts in and around Vancouver.

Joan & Dick Stace-Smith         Dr. Richard (Dick) Stace-Smith

Dick was born May 2, 1924 in Creston, BC where he grew up and then went onto post-secondary studies to obtain his doctorate in Agriculture and a career with Agriculture Canada.

Dick is well known to many naturalists for his extensive volunteer contributions over more than half a century.  As president of the BC Nature Council in the 1960s, he led the formation of the Federation of BC Naturalists in 1969.  He served as FBCN president, as president of Vancouver Natural History Society, and as Conservation Chair for decades with the joint VNHS-FBCN Committee.  Dick also served as co-chair of the Fraser River Coalition and Resolutions Chair for FBCN (BC Nature), as well as a founding director for the BC Naturalists’ Foundation in 1990.  Dick passed away on January 17, 2017.  He was pre-deceased by his wife, of 64 years, Joan, in May 2015.

Dick is fondly remembered for his skills as a diplomatic meeting chair and coordinator for conferences and workshops, where he was always tactful and respectfully involved all points of view.

Celebration of Life for Dick will be held on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at West Point Grey United Church, 4595 West 8th Avenue, Vancouver, at 2 pm.  All welcome.

Looking to Connect more with Nature in 2017?

If one of your New Year goals was to spend more time learning about or being in nature, here is a list of events in the area.  I hope there is something on the list that catches your eye!

Tuesday, January 17
Birding Trip to Iona Beach Regional Park – Richmond
Meet the leader Thomas Plath (cell 778 928-9206) at the parking lot of Iona Island Regional Park at 0830 AM or carpool at 0750 AM at Tim Horton’s near Steveston Hwy and No. 5 Road, Richmond. A two hour walk – bring a snack and suitable clothing for the weather.
Organized by Nature Vancouver refer to www.naturevancouver.ca

 

Wednesday, January 18
Birding Trip to Trout Lake (John Hendry Park – Vancouver)
Join Al Grass for this ½ day birding trip. Meet at 9:30am in front of the Trout Lake Community Centre (Victoria Drive and 19th Avenue) which is close to the SkyTrain and bus stops.  This is a great birding area and there are always surprises.  It is also a good spot for new birders to hone their skills and chance to see California Gulls. Contact Al Grass at 604 538 8774.
Organized by Nature Vancouver refer to www.naturevancouver.ca

 

Wednesday, January 18
Geology of some buildings and monuments in downtown Vancouver
Meeting location: Will be revealed on registration. Meeting time: 10:00 am. Duration: 3 to 4 hours. Terrain: Street walking. Event description: We will examine the exterior and interior of a number of buildings in downtown Vancouver to look at the various natural building stones used in construction and decoration. The provenance, composition and suitability of these materials will be explained. We will note how their use has changed over time according to availability, cost, custom and durability of materials used. This will also be an opportunity to learn about masonry terminology, the history of the buildings and their architecture. Registration: Because of a need to limit the size of the group and because the event may be rescheduled due to weather, registration is required. Contact David at 604-924-0147 or by email to register and receive details as to the meeting location.
Organized by Nature Vancouver refer to www.naturevancouver.ca

 

Thursday, January 19
Botanical research in late season habitats: Don’t go home too early!
Terry McIntosh
Description of talk: Terry has spent many of the last autumns searching the edges of rivers and lakes for late season plants…plants that are often hidden under water until mid to late summer and which can only be accounted for once the edges of water bodies dry down. Numerous provincially At Risk plants are restricted to these habitats. Terry will show images of many of these plants, describe their unique life strategies and habitats, and encourage you to get out so that you can see for yourself that striking late season world! About the speaker: Terry McIntosh, Ph.D. is a botanist with over 35 years of experience in public education, ecological consulting, and scientific research. He has recently undertaken a number of bryophyte and ecosystem surveys, and has produced reports for both provincial and federal agencies (CDC and COSEWIC). He is familiar with plants and vegetation communities across British Columbia, in particular interior shrub-grasslands and coastal Garry oak ecosystems. He frequently participates in rare plant inventories, most recently on Salt Spring Island, the south Okanagan Valley, and along the Sunshine Coast.
at 7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Church, 49th at Oak, Vancouver.
Organized by Nature Vancouver refer to www.naturevancouver.ca

 

Whooo’s Hoot Owl Prowl | ages 8+
Fri, January 20, 7~9 pm
CAMPBELL VALLEY REGIONAL PARK
Join naturalists on a night prowl for owls and discover why owls are such great hunters of the night.
Presented with Langley Field Naturalists.
#6698 FREE Registration required: 604-432-6359

 

Saturday – January 21
Nature Walk at Terra Nova Rural Park, Richmond
Join Josh to walk along the dike looking for raptors, snow geese and other birds that spend the winter in the marshes on the West side of Richmond. We will also walk through the park and the community gardens checking out the ponds along the way. Meet at 9:00 am in the parking lot at the end of River Road (NW corner of Richmond).
Please phone 604-532-0455 for information and to let us know to expect you.
Organized by Langley Field Naturalists

 

Saturday, January 21
Birding Trip to Brunswick Point, Delta
Meet the leader Thomas Plath (cell 778 928-9206) at the base of the parking lot at the end of River Road, Delta at 0830 AM or carpool at 0750 AM at Tim Horton’s near Steveston Hwy and No. 5 Road, Richmond. A half day trip – bring a snack and suitable clothing for the weather.
Organized by Nature Vancouver refer to www.naturevancouver.ca

 

Saturday, January 21
Birding Pitt River Dyke
Join us for a half-day birding field trip along Port Coquitlam’s Pitt River Dyke north from the east end of Sherling Place back to the parking lot at DeBoville Slough. This route covers excellent dyke-side habitats. We will be on the hunt for visiting winter and resident species. Meet in the main parking lot adjacent to the public washrooms at Cedar & Victoria Drives (DeBoville Slough) in Port Coquitlam at 0900. We will then carpool to our start point on Sherling Place. Larry Cowan 604-307-0931
Organized by Nature Vancouver refer to www.naturevancouver.ca

 

Vive Les Voyageurs French-Canadian Festival
January 21~22, 10 am~5:00 pm
Ice Sculpting at January 21, at 1:00 pm
Complimentary admission for Canada 150
Tap your feet and clap to the beat of French Canada at Fort Langley National Historic Site’s annual winter festival. Enliven a grey January weekend with the unique folklore and culture of the voyageurs and fur traders who lived at 19th-century Fort Langley. Learn a Métis dance, attend a French 101 lesson, join our Fur Trade Wedding and fill up on delicious maple taffy and poutine while listening to live Voyageur-style music. Saturday at 1 pm, kick off Canada150 with an ice sculpting demonstration. Admission is free in 2017. View full schedule online.
http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/bc/langley/visit.aspx

 

Family Day at PDA!
January 22, 2017 @ 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Place des Arts, 1120 Brunette Ave, Coquitlam
Gather up the clan and drop by Place des Arts for its first Family Day of the New Year. Participate in a variety of all-ages, drop-in style art activities related to three new exhibitions, plus paint along to live music performed by Place des Arts piano teacher Barry Tan in a new activity called Notes in Painting. Admission is free; register online at www.brownpapertickets.com

 

Sunday, January 22, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Nest Box Program in Burnaby Lake Regional Park
Help the Burnaby Lake Park Association service over 200 nest boxes that provide homes for wood ducks, flying squirrels, swallows and chickadees.
Ages 8+ Free. Presented by Burnaby Lake Park Association, 604-432-6359, info@burnabylakepark.ca

 

Tuesday, January 24
Birding Trip to Terra Nova, Richmond
Meet the leader Thomas Plath (cell 778 928-9206) at the Westminster Highway parking lot at 0830 AM or carpool at 0750 AM at Tim Horton’s near Steveston Hwy and No. 5 Road, Richmond. A two hour walk – bring a snack and suitable clothing for the weather.
Organized by Nature Vancouver refer to www.naturevancouver.ca

 

Wednesday – January 25
Nature Walk at O.W.L. and Boundary Bay Dike
Join Al Grass for a 90 minute presentation and a walk around the facility to find out how injured birds are rehabilitated and released back into the wild. There is a small charge of $5 per person.
If the weather is suitable we will follow this visit with a walk on the Boundary Bay dike to look for the variety of birds that spend the winter in this very important area including the beautiful Short-eared Owl. Bring lunch. Meet at 9:45 am in the parking lot at O.W.L., 3800 72nd Street, Delta.
Please phone 604-538-8774 for information and to let us know to expect you.
Organized by Langley Field Naturalists

 

Thursday, January 26
THE PEACE RIVER BREAK
TIM BURKHART
The Peace River Break is a crossroads in the Yellowstone to Yukon corridor, enabling wildlife to journey between two big islands of protected habitat. Find out how local partners and First Nations are keeping this key connection intact.
at 7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Church, 49th at Oak, Vancouver.
Organized by Nature Vancouver refer to www.naturevancouver.ca

 

Whooo’s Hoot Owl Prowl | ages 8+
Fri, January 27, 7~9:00 pm
CAMPBELL VALLEY REGIONAL PARK
Join naturalists on a night prowl for owls and discover why owls are such great hunters of the night.
Presented with Langley Field Naturalists.
#6722 FREE Registration required: 604-432-6359

Saturday, January 28
Birding Trip to Serpentine Wildlife Management Area (formerly known as Serpentine Fen)
Meet the leader Thomas Plath (778 928-9206) at the Serpentine Fen parking lot at 0830 AM or carpool at 0750 AM at Tim Horton’s near Steveston Hwy and No. 5 Road, Richmond. A half day trip – bring a snack and suitable clothing for the weather.
Organized by Nature Vancouver refer to www.naturevancouver.ca

 

Saturday – January 28
Nature Walk at Derby Reach/Brae Island Bird Count
Birders of all levels are needed to help with the count. This is a great opportunity for beginners to learn from more experienced birders. Meet 7:30 am at St. George’s Church in Fort Langley.
Please phone Phil Henderson 604-888-1571 for information and to let us know to expect you. Organized by Langley Field Naturalists

Photo: Linda Mueller

Gratitude

THANK YOU!

Pacific Spirit Park Society would like to extend our gratitude for the funds and in-kind donations we received this year.  As a not-for-profit organization these generous gifts allow PSPS to run free high quality programs in Pacific Spirit Regional Park all year round.  

We truly could not do our work without you!

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$1,000-5,000

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Under $1,000

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Once a horse stable

This fall PSPS planted over 2000 trees in a large restoration site along South West Marine Drive, in a site that was once covered in Scotch Broom and Himalayan Blackberries.

Why was this area so impacted by the spread of invasive plants?

The other week a park visitor came by to chat and mentioned that years ago the site held the horse stables for the milk delivery carts.  After the horse stables were no longer used, the site did not have any protection against the spread of invasive plants. If you have time, here is little video showing milk delivery with a horse drawn wagon in Vancouver many years ago.  Do you recognize any of the streets? My, how things have changed!

Natural Playgrounds

Pacific Spirit Regional Park is one of the last places in Vancouver where children can play in nature.  However, each year when we survey the park’s illegal trails we find more and more areas around elementary schools being impacted by off trail play.

What are your ideas for balancing nature play and ecological restoration?

Share your thoughts with us on Twitter, Facebook or by email at volunteer@pacificspiritparksociety.org.

Looking Back

Tom Nichols and the origins of Pacific Spirit Regional Park

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The opening of Pacific Spirit Regional Park in 1989.  Tom Nichols is in the back row under the word “for” in the grey sweater. Photo: MV Archives

Current role in the Park: Ivy League Leader

Preserving the Park since: 1973, before it was a park!

Favourite trail in the Park for Cycling – Council Walking

Favourite trail in the Park for walking – Sword Fern between Marine Drive and Imperial.

Tom was a steward of Pacific Spirit Regional Park well before it became a park and remembers the days when the “trails” were old logging roads. In the 1950’s and 60’s the endowment lands were slated for residential development, which motivated concerned neighbours to advocate for the protection of the beautiful forest and its unique ecological, cultural and historical values. Tom joined the Endowment Lands Regional Park Committee in 1973 and worked with them for 16 years until formation of the Pacific Spirit Regional Park (PSRP) was finally announced on December 10th, 1989.

Tom’s work in the Park did not stop there. He volunteered with other members of the Endowment Land Regional Park Committee to be a presence in the Park until 1991 when Metro Vancouver (then GVRD) established their Park Association partnership in the Park.  Seeing the spread of invasive plants throughout the Park, Tom started tackling the English Ivy, which  grows along slopes and up trees, reducing the stability of the slopes and trees and threatening native plant biodiversity.

Even though Tom has been preserving the Park for over 40 years, he maintains a strong vision for the future. Tom is working with  Pacific Spirit Park Society and Metro Vancouver Regional Parks to develop an invasive plant management monitoring system which meaningfully measures the impact various invasive species have on the park in order to prioritize invasive plant removal. Further, Tom is looking at possible compensation restoration sites with the development of a new Metro Vancouver Pacific Spirit Regional Park works yard.

If you are interested in joining Tom at the monthly Ivy League event, email Krista Voth at volunteer@pacificspiritparksociety.org or find us on Meet Up.

* Participants 13 and under must be accompanied by an adult.